Portsmouth Kate The Great - Portsmouth Brewery

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Portsmouth Kate The GreatPortsmouth Kate The Great

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

897 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 897
Reviews: 485
rAvg: 4.54
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 2,694
Gots: 169 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: bewareOFpenguin on 04-07-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 897 | Reviews: 485 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thought I already reviewed this but I guess not. It's been a while since I've had a full glass in front of me to dissect. Seems like a good day to do it since they tapped a sixtel for the locals today.

Black body with a light mocha head. Nose hits sweet and rich with deeply caramelized sugars, cocoa and dark fruits. Some roasted malt but this isn't what Kate is all about. The nose isn't as decadent as the taste.

First sip reveals deeply rich chocolate fudge flavors. I've never experienced such a fudgey flavor in any stout I've had other than maybe Black Tuesday. The light touch of port wine intensifies that chocolate flavor then recedes into a bittersweet finish from roasted malts and residual sugars. Reminds me of a port cheese spread where there is a bold, robust dark fruit flavor mid palate.

Slightly thick mouthfeel but silky smooth. I think the stout on it's own seems solid but the addition of the rich, dark fruit flavor combined with fudgey decadence is what makes this stout top tier.

Photo of Brez07
4.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had the pleasure of drinking 3 glasses yesterday at Kate Day. 10oz pour, served into a snifter. Note - the ABV listed on the chalkboard was 12%

A: Sits motionless in the glass. Jet black. Very thin mocha head, but a quick swirl of the glass garners about 1/2 finger. Didn't get any retention the first glass, but it was pretty decent in glass 2 and 3

S: To be completely honest, I initially thought this beer basically had no aroma. Towards the end after it warmed a bit, I got some cocoa and vanilla, maybe a little roasted malt. Also just a touch of alcohol

T: My first sip of this beer was devine. A huge chocolate presence but not crazy sweet. Reminiscent of cocoa powder. There was a nice underlying roasted malt flavor that was blended in gracefully. Some light port and dark fruit was detected in the finish. Absolutely no sign of alcohol

M: I've always heard that the mouthfeel was the best part of this beer. And I couldn't agree more. Full bodied. So thick, very smooth. Very light roast aftertaste with some sweetness. Perfect

D: All I wrote in my notes was "holy shit amazing". Kate meet all my expectations and then some. Had planned on just one glass, maybe two because there were other beers I wanted to try. But that wasn't an option as Kate had a strong hold on me. Worthy of all the praise she gets

Photo of bpk59
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

Photo of rudylaw
4.95/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First beer in the Holy Stout tasting (2009 bottle). HUGE thanks to masterhomebrewer for the opportunity!

Pitch black pour with a thick, tan head which dissipates immediately.

Lots of chocolate, molasses, and dark fruits in the sniffer.

The body of the beer is a little lighter than I hoped for, but man is this smooth! Raisins, chocolate, toffee, sweetness. Not much coffee at all which is just fine by me.

Low carbonation leading to an extremely smooth mouthfeel.

All in all, one of the best RIS's I've ever had. I made sure we started the evening off with this as my taste buds deserved nothing less. Absolutely incredible!

Photo of flipdog0
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of genog
4.9/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2006 vintage - big thanks to Zutmin for hooking me up
22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Opaque rich and dark thick black liquid with a small amount of a frothy dark tan head that sticks around for a while.

Smell is of sweet roasted malts and sugars up front with some dark roasted coffee peeking through. Not a really strong aroma once I took a sip of this one.

Taste was my favorite part here bringing together a perfect harmony of all tastes lingering. Dark roasted coffee, espresso, sweet candied cherry, molasses burned espresso, chocolate, all delicious in thin quantities.

Mouth feel is lively and bubbly, and ties everything together.

Photo of SykDoc
4.7/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this courtesy of brdc, much thanks for a great tasting with StoutsnIpas. Poured from the bottle into a snifter. It pours a dark brown for a 1/2 inch dark tan head that slowly reduces leaving a very nice swirly lacing. Black and opaque when held to the light.

The aroma is primarily roasted malts and dark chocolate combined with a dark fruity sweetness, almost currant cherry and just a hint of oak.

The taste includes the expected dark fruit and caramel malt sweetness combined with a bakers chocolate finish.

The mouthfeel was a bit thin for what I was expecting, although I believe this significantly improved the drinkability. Carbonation was reasonable and it was smooth with a nice modestly dry finish.

Overall, I found this beer to be incredibly drinkable. One of the downfalls of the big imperial stouts is the viscosity and intensity, when it comes to drinkability. It is also what makes them incredible. This is a very nice balance and very good.

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ordered some take out last night and headed down to the brewery. Looked up at the board and saw this offering. On an empty stomach, I ordered a 12oz glass. Poured dark with chocolate bubbles. Rich taste, no hint of the ABV, good malt. In fact, it wasn't until I started home that I noticed that warm blow in my stomach. I think it is 12%, but I am not sure. A growler refill at $12? I'll be doing it knowing this beer won't last long.

Photo of pburland23
4.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just returned last night from a trip to Portsmouth. With the help of good friend who lives in town, I was in possession of two winning Kate tickets. Lucky me.

Poured from the bottle into my also newly acquired Portsmouth Brewery bubble glass.

Pours an intensely murky, squid ink black. No light escapes from Kate. Beer left a thin ring of coffee colored head which melted away to some unobtrusive lacing.

The smell is quite complex. Four different inhales lead to four different flavors. I picked up bitter chocolate, coffee, Tootsie rolls, and a hint of smokiness. There was perhaps a slight booziness around the edges, but it certainly wasn't overpowering.

The taste is equally complex. Hops bitterness jumps to the foreground but is replace by a sweet, toasty maltiness. There is a musty, earthy undercurrent that runs through the beer adding incredible depth to the flavor.

The mouthfeel is full and viscous, almost syrupy, but it works oh so well. The 12% abv is hidden remarkably well. But I did notice that as I drank the bottle, I got warmer and warmer, but it was worth it.

This was my first Kate experience and wow, what a great beer. I was slightly worried the beer could not possibly match the hype, but I was glad to be proven wrong.

Photo of 3Hops
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of Auracom
4/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.38/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from short stubby bottle into KTG tulip - 2012 release.

A: Poured a deep black with with one finger head that descended into a thin frothy lacing, slight webbing as it lowered , good carbonation.

S: Dark roasted malts , toffee ,caramel ,coffee .

T: Deep roasted malts with decent coffee flavors, chocolate, sweet toffee and caramel ,slight vanilla hints, slight char, light hops.

O: Overall this is a very good RIS that I recommend trying at least once if given the chance , I was lucky that a great BA gave me the opportunity , Thanks again Hollie - You Rock !

Photo of redliner8
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of Grant35
3/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of alalvarez75
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of ricke
4.38/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure what vintage this was, the bottle lacked marking.

A: Black with a small beige head that settles fast into a small ring of lacings.

S: Roasted malts, molasses, chocolate and a hint of soy. Perhaps a hint of toffee. Very balanced, not overly powerful but very pleasant. No sign of the alcohol.

T: The taste is somewhat sweet with lots of roasted malts, hints of dark fruits and pleasant chocolate flavors. Molasses. The finish is somewhat bitter with a hint of alcohol and lingering notes of licorice. Very well balanced composition.

M: Not overly full-bodied. Mild carbonation. Surprisingly easy to drink.

D: This is definitely not the biggest imperial stout I've come across. It doesn't display any overpowering in-your-face flavors. Instead, it comes out as really balanced, very tasty and very easy to drink. I was actually a bit surprised that its character was so ordinary. But after thinking about if for a while, I think this is what makes it stand out - it's just a top example of how a plain old imperial stout should taste like.

Photo of VAbdoyan
4/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of pest
4/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of KevinmusPrime
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Sycodrummer
5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap from the Brewpub. Was presented to me in a 10oz. glass the beer was pitch black with a half-finger of tan/beige head. The head itself was thick and frothy alla cappucino. No outright signs of carbonation, but an impressive sheet of lace formed all down the sides of the glass and lasted throughout the sample. The head retained well as well throughout the sample.

The smell was innitially of darker fruits. Plum and fig are coming through quick nicely with an aromatic blend of roasted malt and alcohol. Also black coffee and slight bitter chocolate in the nose.

The taste releases the fruit flavors quite nicely. The plum and fig taste almost chocolate covered with bitter-sweet chocolate. Roasted (almost burnt) black coffee flavors and a slight but no too strong alcoholic warming. The beer is exceptionally smooth for a 10.5% ABV brew. No aggressive bitterness only that which comes from the chocolate tastes.

The mouthfeel is heavy but not syrupy. An even consistancy and balance to all the flavors. Not an assertive brew that screams alcohol, but raher more mellow and subtlely warming.

This was a great imperial stout in my opinion. It gets all 5's but in a very different way than my other all 5's (as of 10/3/05): Sam Smith Imperial Stout. This Impy has a much more fruitty flavor like a good port wine and is perfect to sip and enjoy after a meal. A very strong offering from the small brewpub.

Photo of jsilva
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of drumrboy22
4.85/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Mudpuppet for this growler! Poured into a Great Divide Yeti chalice. Beer was all black with a small, chocolate colored head.

Aroma was coffee, smoke, molasses and some spicy hops. Very complex smelling beer.

Very thick, yet smooth tasting. Hops upfront with the other flavors coming through as it goes down. Chocolate, coffee and dark fruit are prominent.

Full flavor that gets better and better as it warms up. Goes down easy and is a real treat. I only wish I mad more than one growler.

It's been almost three years since I've visited Portsmouth brewery and this was on tap the last time I was there. Brought back lots of great memories of road trips visiting breweries on the east coast. Thanks again to Mudpuppet for this rare treat.

Photo of mrandypandy
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

Photo of trbergman
4.97/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle (Feb 2009 release) poured into a tulip.

A - Jet black body with a lace of light brown head.

S - Strong aroma comprises dark fruits such as raisin and fig, vanilla, caramel, milk chocolate, espresso, and an oxidized, sherry note.

T - A cocoa-like flavor is the single strongest in this beer, yet it doesn't dominate. Kate is also very fruity, with tastes of dark fruits - raisin and fig - as well as a bit of cherry. Caramel and vanilla combine for a hint of creme brulee. Hop bitterness is low to moderate for the style, with little to no hop flavor. Some warming alcohol is present, but as a welcome addition, and there is a complementary sherry flavor. The finish is warm and sweet.

M - Lazy carbonation and smooth, full body lead to a viscous, syrupy mouthfeel.

D - Kate is a very compelling beer: with every sip, there is something new to discover, so I find myself sipping faster than might be prudent. This is a dangerously drinkable 9.5 percent. If it were more easily available, I could see myself enjoying it rather often.

Photo of RustyDiamond
4.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

08 written in marker on front, silver cap. Had her in my cellar for far too long. Nice crisp pop when opened and poured into my snifter. Slow rising seductive cappucino tan head. Quite frothy two fingers with a nice mound of tiny little bubbles in the middle. Very dark brown 95% black in appearance.
Dark cherry & plum underlying sweetness on the aroma with some deep, dark chocolate whiffs. Rounding it all off is just a touch of phenol. Truly intoxicating & enjoyable.
Galaxy lacing in the glass. Oily on the lips, dark fruit hop bitter on the nose. Prickly carb more fruit. Dark chocolate bitterness ensues. Nice and tannic, super complex. Subtely hot alcoholy with a syrupy green hoppy mouthfeel. Finishes hoppy and chocolate bitter. The growler in had in 2007 was a tad better than this, but regardless this is one fine RIS.

Portsmouth Kate The Great from Portsmouth Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 897 ratings.